Thursday, April 8, 2010

Reality Bites

To loosely quote Sister #3 - I am going to build a town of my own and name it Theory. And everything will work there, because everything works, in Theory.

Yep, in a perfect world (or even in a world slightly better than the one I live in) when you make money it will be in the bank. And when you have to spend money, you will have enough. And when you check to make sure your balance is the way it should be,  you won't be surprised by a debit for hundreds of dollars more than you owe by a company that shouldn't be debiting you. Oh, and your bank won't run THAT debit first and then all the little ones after it so it can run up HUNDREDS more dollars in bank fees.

Yes, I have called my bank and yes, I will get the money back...eventually. It really bites because I have bills to pay, people, and I don't have the kind of financial cushion where I can just casually handle missing a thousand dollars or so. It bites because I have to deal with my landlord over the rent because of this and I am already embarrassed to speak to them because we have been late and had to make arrangements so many times over the past year. All this makes me feel inept and incapable and very much like a failure.

I know that I am not a total failure. However, there are some things I am not good at. Take money issues for instance. Supposedly, I am a grown-up and grown-ups are supposed to be able to do things like balance a bank account and pay bills and things like that. I guess my Financial Reality is a little different than the Real Reality because I can't. I don't know why I can't, I just can't.

Trust me, I have tried every trick, program, plan, and idea that has been passed my way. I still use them, even in the face of my continual failure. I currently use Quicken to track the bank's version of Financial Reality and Excel to track my own version. I even go over and over and over to make sure they match. They always do. Briefly, anyway. Then there is an apparent slip in the time/space/money continuum and I'm screwed again. That's ok. I'm getting used to it. It gives me a sense of accomplishment to wrestle my poor excuse for a budget back into focus and keep moving forward.

There's always a Real reason for the mishaps and slip-ups. Sometimes it's a lack of communication between the cardholders (DH and I share all accounts, but only one actually has more than one debit card attached to it.)  Occasionally, the financial institutions see fit to pull some screwy crap that ruins my weekend (like this week for instance.) Most of the time, though it really is just bad math. My Reality says one thing and The Banks of the Northern Hemisphere have a completely different Reality. So, I go grocery shopping and pay bills and then, well Reality Bites me in the butt.

Maybe I should get Reality a chew toy so it will leave my ass alone.

Debbie "Broke but Mending" Lollar

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